National Women’s Health Week urges women to prioritize themselves

Published: May. 11, 2022 at 6:50 AM CDT
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ROCHESTER, Minn. (KTTC) – National Women’s Health Week is underway and it urges women to prioritize themselves. It runs May 8-14.

Mayo Clinic held a briefing about women’s health on Wednesday discussing menopause and the effect it has on a woman’s physical and mental health.

According to Dr. Stephanie Faubion with Mayo Clinic, many women put their own health in the backseat when it comes to balancing parenthood, working outside of the home, and sometimes taking care of older parents.

She said the COVID-19 pandemic caused many women to delay routine screenings like mammograms and annual checkups. She said they often suffer with menopause symptoms like hot flashes, mood swings and depression in silence.

She urges women to make their mental health a priority.

“Nothing is going to happen if a woman isn’t doing well in terms of her mental health,” Dr. Faubion said. “So, she’s not going to be exercising, she’s not going to be eating right. And she’s probably drinking more than she should. And, she probably isn’t getting screenings. All of this is just getting compounded. Yes, 100%, this is a problem.”

Dr. Faubion said they are also seeing the results of delayed screenings like breast cancer getting detected later and blood pressure not getting under control.

She said some warning signs that a woman is entering menopause is irregular bleeding, changes in sleep patterns, mood swings, hot flashes and weight gain. She said a doctor can help with symptoms by giving a full exam and possibly prescribing hormone therapy, antidepressants or other medications.

According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, getting on a regular sleep schedule, eating right, and practicing self care can help improve a woman’s quality of life. It urges people to use its online tools available to try to get a start on a healthier lifestyle.

The entire Mayo Clinic briefing can be accessed here.

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